We would like to introduce our first Mentor Program Spotlight; Kathy Wagner. Coach Wagner shows an exceptional success rate in her mentor program, 100% of candidates that have mentored under her, have passed the SCCC exam.
Coach Wagner is currently in her 23rd year as a collegiate strength and conditioning coach. She started the strength and conditioning program at UT-Arlington in June of 2009 and is currently responsible for managing a staff of 3 full-time assistants and 2 graduate assistants. Her current team responsibilities include Volleyball, Softball, Track and Field.
Prior to her time at UTA, she worked at UTEP, Ohio State, and the University of Wyoming. In 2014 she was named MSCC by the CSCCa and is CSCS and TPI Level 2 certified. She has held numerous leadership positions within the CSCCa, serving on CSCCa certification commission 2013-2019, chairing the commission 2017- 2019, and serving on the CSCCa Board of Directors 2019-2022. Wagner holds a BS in Kinesiology from Angelo State University where she was a 3-time track and field All-American, and MS in Kinesiology from UTEP. She and her husband Chris have two daughters: Nicole and Morgan.
We sat down with Wagner to investigate how she gets a 100% success rate for her candidates on the SCCC exam.
CSCCA: What’s your formula for success in helping your interns prepare for the SCCC exam?
Wagner: I believe the first step is to recognize that the exam both written and practical are not easy and the intern needs to be prepared. Many times, they think because they are taking classes and working on the floor, they will be able to walk in and pass the exam with no worries, I quickly remind them of the contrary. I encourage them to review the numerous study materials available as they prepare for the written exam with weekly and sometimes daily conversation regarding the topic they are currently reviewing. For the practical portion we have many teaching opportunities with all athletes as well as weekly intern teach coach sessions. As we get closer to the actual test date, we have mock testing where we re-create the testing environment, so it won’t be as intimidating on test day.
CSCCA: How much do you rely on the CSCCa internship curriculum in preparing your candidates?
Wagner: When I first began the mentoring process I relied on the prepared curriculum throughout the mentorship. Currently, after many years of mentoring coupled with my involvement within the organization, I don’t reference the curriculum as often. Traditionally I will review the curriculum at the beginning of each mentoring cycle to ensure we are following the most up to date recommendations.
CSCCA: What do you feel is a key component of your internship program which sets you apart from others and sets your test candidates up for success?
Wagner: The vetting process: To be considered for an internship, undergrad GPA and degree of study matter. All the candidates that have sat for the exam had an undergrad GPA of 3.2 or higher in an exercise science or related field. The candidate must have a strong desire to become a strength and conditioning coach, not a desire to solely add more credentials after their name and work in athletic performance in any capacity.
CSCCA: How many candidates have you had that have sat for the SCCC exam? How many have passed?
Wagner: 100% pass rate, 10 candidates.
Wagner’s mentor program shows that being prepared in every aspect is the key to success for the SCCC exam. We appreciate Wagner for taking the time to talk with us and we hope her success rate motivates our mentors to push candidates towards success.